Yeah sorry about last week. I don't want to go into specifics but let's just say a lot of shit hit the fan because for some reason the bad stuff that happens to me likes to pile on all at once. :sigh: That said, onward to the snark.
Our Brave Heroes aka Judd and Lionel and Jamal bravely watch TV and are shocked that the worldwide media under the control of a ruthless dictator is trying pin the murder of the GC guard on Our Buck. Not to mentheection ends with the kids being horrified upon hearing about St. Rayford's death. Of course seeing as Rayford is a freaking Highlander who will probably outlast Dr. Manhattan, it's hard to feel any concern for him.
Okay for once Jenkins steps off the narrative gas and we get some actual character development complete with fairly realistic dialogue between Mark and Melinda. Melinda, if you're wondering, is still in cuffs which Mark is still trying to break. Basically they talk about hiding from the GC, what are they going to do now, and Melinda, once again proving what a hardened reprobate she is, tells him she's sorry to hear about the loss of his aunt. Again this proves she's a horrible sinner because if she was a good and proper RTC, she'd have just shrugged it off.
Back to Judd and Lionel...apparently Ken Ritz is dead. This might have had an impact on the readers if Ken had ever been mentioned before this point or even appeared onscreen at some point. Seriously all I know about the dude is that Chloe names her currently gestating child after him.
Okay back to the school. This book changes settings so fast, I'm in serious danger of whiplash here. I know according to the great RTC hierarchy, Judd ranks the highest of the YTF (by virtue of being both the eldest member and a proud owner of a penis) but it doesn't take much to see that Vicki is demonstrating much more leadership chops than Judd can ever hope to possess. She's managing to keep the rest of the school together but no doubt, eventually she'll be punished for being a girl with girl parts especially since she has the nerve to hold a Bible study in order to keep up morale. Not only is her lesson not one of the cherrypicked verses Ellanjay uses to prop up their incredibly convoluted interpretation of scripture (it's a selection from Paul's letter to the Phillippians if you're wondering), but in holding this lesson, she's holding authority over a man and you know how RTCs feel about that. Even though Deborah aka one of the Judges clearly holds authority over a man and as I recall, she has ovaries. I imagine if I really wanted to tie RTCs in knots, I should bring up the story of Jael.
Anyway, the passage Vicki instructs them on basically says that regardless of what they endure as a result of their beliefs, they should be content. Not an entirely bad passage for the YTF to study if you ask me. They also say a prayer for Melinda, marking one of the rare times that an RTC demonstrates compassion for someone who isn't one of them.
Mark is still trying to break Melinda's cuffs when we run into yet another character who appeared in a previous book but you probably have forgotten about otherwise known as Janie. Like them, Janie is fleeing the GC. She claims to have become more religious since meeting Vicki but since Mark can't tell if she has the Super Special Awesome Secret Mark, jury's out on whether we can trust her.
Judd and Lionel are still hiding out when a beautiful girl shows up and given the amount of description she receives, she'll likely eventually be given a name and won't be just an NPC. She tells them that they have a phone call. Turns out Samuel's calling them and he tells them Mr. Stein has been released but doesn't know where he is and that's the end of that chapter.
Next chapter begins at the school and all that happens is that the YTF on night duty, Conrad, finds a fancy box and Mark, Melinda, and Janie return to the school.
Meanwhile in Israel, just as I suspected, the beautiful young girl, who is Jamal's daughter, is given a name, Nada,.Just as I guessed she is described as having an Arabic accent which adds to my suspicions that before her family became good RTCs, they were eeevil Muslims (though it is possible they were Palestinian Christians but I'm willing to bet the farm that Ellanjay are the type who use Arab and Muslim interchangeably, which is high on my list of pet peeves) . But regardless, they've seen the light thanks to Token Jew's website.
Meanwhile, at the school, turns out Janie is a follower of EBOWF and naturally believes that a God of Love wouldn't inflict all this misery on us. Vicki makes the same weaksauce argument that he's trying to get her attention to which Janie responds "I let my God guide me and he got me out of prison. "
Judd and Lionel read Token Jew's email and go to the funeral home, pick up a coffin, with Mr. Stein in it. I'll cut to the end and tell you that Mr. Stein isn't really dead.
Quick cut to the school. Vicki lays out the rules of the school. Naturally everyone has to attend a Bible study and Janie says she's not going to convert but yeah...we'll see how that plays out.
And that's it. Sorry again for the lack of snark last week.